I get many calls from new puppy owners who are frequently surprised by how quickly the coat is growing on their new puppy. Many times the hair is growing into the puppy's eyes, or he is skidding around on the floor due to the long hair growing in between his paw pads.
My policy is to absolutely introduce a puppy to grooming from a young age, but only once he has had all of his puppy shots and the vet has cleared him to go outside (this is usually 2 weeks after their last injection). If the puppy is a long coated breed he will need to be groomed, on average every 6-8 weeks for the rest of his life, so the sooner he gets to experience grooming, the better and the less scarey it will be for him.
Ideally his first experience with grooming will be before he is ready for a full haircut - he will be introduced to -- the hydro bath
- the dryer
- standing on the table
- being fully brushed and combed
- having his ears cleaned
- hair clipped from around his feet and sanitary area
- hair trimmed around his eyes and his feet
- having his nais trimmed
- the sound of the clippers
As you can see, this is quite a lot for a baby, depending on your puppy's temperament, some may find it scary, some wriggle like crazy, as they don't want to sit still for a minute and just want to play, and others just fall asleep!
Sometimes the first groom may not be the best, the puppy may be wriggly or scared and at this stage, it is important to be guided by what the puppy is comfortable with. The goal is that the puppy gets a good experience. It is pointless to force a puppy to do something that terrifies him, just to finish the groom, as he will then probably hate being groomed for the rest of his life. It is much better to be patient, as it is much more pleasant for both the groomer and the dog, to groom a happy and relaxed dog.